Frequently Asked Questions

What is bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which a person who cannot pay his or her bills can use to get a fresh financial start. The right to file bankruptcy is provided by federal law and all cases are handled in federal court. The filing of bankruptcy immediately stops all collection activity by creditors, at least until the debts are sorted out according to the law.

What can bankruptcy do for me?

What does bankruptcy not do?

What are the different types of bankruptcy available to individuals and/or small businesses?

Who will know about my bankruptcy?

Will my friends and/or relatives know I have filed bankruptcy?

Will my employer know I have filed bankruptcy?

Can I file bankruptcy on some creditors and not on others?

If I file bankruptcy, does my spouse have to file with me?

If I filed bankruptcy before, can I file again?

If I filed bankruptcy before, how long do I have to wait before I am eligible to file another bankruptcy and receive a discharge of my debts?

What happens if I filed bankruptcy before, need to file again and cannot wait until I am eligible to receive a discharge of my debt?

How will bankruptcy affect my co-signer?

Will I have to go to court?

Will bankruptcy wipe out all my debts?

Will I lose all of my property and belongings if I file bankruptcy?

What happens to my home and car if I file bankruptcy?

Will bankruptcy affect my credit?

How long will bankruptcy stay on my credit report?

What else should I know?

Are there alternatives to bankruptcy?

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M. Caroline Cantrell, Attorney at Law